Filipinos top in online shopping research, but lag in purchasesBy Daxim L. Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—When it comes to learning more about what they need to buy, Filipinos are among the most active in the Asia-Pacific region in using the Internet for product research and snaring online deals.
This was the key finding of a recent study conducted by market research firm Nielsen on the influence of digital media on shopping habits.
The Nielsen report found that among consumers who engaged in e-commerce activities, 72 percent of online consumers in the Philippines indicated using the Internet for grocery shopping research over the past month.
Of this number, 47 percent did so on a daily basis, comparing favorably against the average 39 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
“With Internet penetration increasing exponentially in the Philippines, and the growing number of consumers who are turning to the Internet to conduct product research and ensure they are getting the best price or deal, this trend provides an apt environment to convert online researchers to make online purchases,” Nielsen Philippine managing director Stuart Jamieson said in a statement.
The study also showed that online Filipino consumers were also the most active in Asia-Pacific to search online for deals.
Sixty-one percent of Filipino consumers have, in fact, done online deal searches during the past month, compared to only 39 percent in the Asia-Pacific.
The study exposed the Achilles heel of Filipino online consumers, however, showing that when it comes to online purchase conversion, only 34 percent have made purchases online in the past month compared to 62 percent in the Asia-Pacific and 49 percent globally.
“The Internet presents an opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to tap into a broader consumer base and increase engagement levels with consumers,” Jamieson said. “However, clear strategies to build online consumers’ trust and ultimately increase purchase conversion rates need to be ascertained.”
At the same time, the Nielsen study noted a gradual evolution in the patterns of Filipino consumers’ behavior as far as online product research was concerned. While non-consumer packaged goods (CPG) such as electronics, clothing and travel reported the highest penetration for digital shopping intentions, the level of influence for CPG-related products was observed to be growing. In fact, Filipinos’ intentions to buy food and beverages via online sources more than doubled from 15 percent to 32 percent in two years, it showed.
“Connected devices, such as computers, mobile phones and tablets have become a way of life for many, but shoppers are digitally engaged to varying degrees depending on the products they buy,” Jamieson said. “Marketers need to determine which consumers are embracing digital for their grocery shopping needs so they can focus on the right shoppers with the right digital strategies to improve consumers’ online experience.”
The study showed that 52 percent of Filipino respondents said they planned to purchase a computer, game or software via a connected device in the next three to six months—up from 19 percent two years ago—and again compared to 35 percent in Asia-Pacific.
Forty-six percent of Filipinos surveyed indicated they would buy a mobile phone online, compared to 33 percent in the region, making technology categories the key driver of online purchase intention for Filipinos within the next three to six months.
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